COMPUSA CAR SURVIVES CONE, COMPETITION TO WIN CLOSEST RACE IN ROLEX SERIES HISTORY FONTANA, Calif. (April 3, 2005) -- Scott Pruett of CompUSA Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates took the lead on Lap 65 of 86 and fended off a hard-charging...
COMPUSA CAR SURVIVES CONE, COMPETITION TO WIN CLOSEST RACE IN ROLEX SERIES HISTORY
FONTANA, Calif. (April 3, 2005) -- Scott Pruett of CompUSA Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates took the lead on Lap 65 of 86 and fended off a hard-charging SunTrust Racing machine by a scant 0.096-seconds to win the Ferrari Maserati 400k today in sunny Southern California. The margin of victory was the closest ever in Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series history, and Pruett and co-driver Luis Diaz made it two-in-a-row for the dominate no.01 CompUSA Lexus-Riley Daytona Prototype on the testy 21-turn infield road coarse at California Speedway.
Diaz, who qualified the CompUSA machine on pole for the first time in his Rolex Series career, started the race behind the eight ball after a power steering issue forced the Mexico City native to get up on the wheel early and often. He managed to wrestle the car in the top five through the first stint, but when he pit for a driver change along with the ECU on Lap 22, things got real interesting. He brought with him a carefree cone that had wiggled loose from the bottom of another car and planted itself in the windshield of the defending Rolex Series champion ride.
"What a day," said Diaz with a sign after scoring his first career Daytona Prototype win in just his 14th career start. "The whole CompUSA team did a great job. I didn't know how bad the car would be after the power steering failed, but I managed to get it to Scott in one piece, which was all I could do."
Fontana proved Pruett a winner once again, and the California son made his way to Victory Lane for the second time in as many races. However, Pruett had to clarify Diaz' point of view regarding the changing of the helm early in the event.
"Luis said the car was in one piece, I'll give him that-- but what he failed to mention was the cone that was completely lodged into the windshield and roof," said Pruett with a smirk after taking his fifth career Daytona Prototype win. "The CompUSA car was just an absolute bear to drive out there let me tell you. My arms will certainly be feeling it tomorrow morning. But how about the pit stops and the whole Chip Ganassi Racing team. I couldn't have asked for more. This kind of finish is what it's all about. The mechanical monkey that was on our back has been removed, and I couldn't be happier for Luis and the guys. Let's take it to Laguna."
This is CompUSA Chip Ganassi Racing's first win of 2005, and the fifth win overall in just 15 Rolex Series starts -- an impressive 30% rate of visiting Victory Lane.
With the win, Pruett moves into a tie for seventh overall for Most Overall Driver Victories in Rolex Series history.
Chip Ganassi Racing teammates Cort Wagner and Stefan Johansson finished sixth in the Daytona Prototype class in the no.02 New Century Mortgage Lexus-Riley.